Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Soup to nuts (ha!) and everything but the kitchen sink. I suggest a drink and a snack before you commit to reading.

My main problem is that I read stuff on the Internet.

I know, hilarious coming from a blogger.

Also, I've been dancing around this fertility topic, and I do a crappy job when I half-tell. Plus those of you who haven't ever been on this train must be bored as all get-out.

So I'm going to write this all down and then throw it out into the world and the MOVE the fuck on.

OK, I just cracked myself up with that line. Move the fuck on. I totally have a fertility Karate Kid in my mind. Fuck on. Fuck off.



So, here's how I get myself 73 kinds of worked up every day: I read all this stuff about infertility and age on the Internet.

Because technically speaking, we haven't actually been trying for an unreasonable amount of time. Nobody (as in, professionals) seems terribly concerned.

It's just that Jordan happened immediately, and I suppose I had these unrealistic expectations. And, as is my wont, I quickly jumped into fertility forums. I googled fertility and age and related topics.

I still do this on the daily. It makes me apoplectic ever time. And yet, I cannot seem to stop myself.

So I saw a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), because all Internet recommendations are, if you are old - and at 41.5 you are! - get yourself to an RE! Stat!

So the RE was all, yah, your insides look fine, and let's get a look at your husband's sperm and you go have an HSG, which is this test where they inject iodine into your uterus and see if anything is blocked. And here, have some Clomid.

They hand out those prescriptions like lollipops, it seems. I declined.

So, the HSG was kind of interesting, and my uterus and tubes are stellar, it turns out.

Nick was a little surprised by his need to prove himself, because Jordan, of course, was due to his mega-powered baby missiles.

While I, on the other hand, was all, "Maybe they're stuck in bacon grease. Maybe they're just gasping to get through. Here's the address and phone number. Use the Force, Nick."

And so, like the good man that he is, he called immediately. He said they showed him to a room and were like, "Read the instructions on the wall. Here's the porn."

It wasn't easy. But as I said, he's a good man.

It took some effort on our part to get the RE to call back with results, and when he did, Nick said he was clearly reading them as he spoke, and said, "So, Mr. Gloria, normal sperm amounts are X, and yours are...oh, hahahaha! Well! Clearly that's not a problem!"

Yah. So Nick is the proud owner of rock star baby missiles.

So then, the more I thought about it, the more I decided that it's scarring on my cervix, which is why it didn't budge one tiny bit when I had Jordan. Like, without exaggeration, the OB stuck her hand in my vagina, worked at it with some serious effort, to the point where her gloved hand was completely bloody when she pulled it out. And nothing.


So now we're going to try IUI, which, if it is my cervix but not my eggs, will shoot the rock stars up past my cervix and put them on the path to meeting some nice egg and settling down.

Insurance doesn't cover it. And if you've ever looked into IUI or IVF, IUI is a relative bargain.

What they suggested is also taking Clomid, which tricks your body into making more estrogen, thus having you make more follicles, and upping your chances of squeezing out a good egg.

As I understand it.

But yesterday they surprised me with a prescription for a lot more than I feel comfortable taking. And I spent hours at the RE, and it was like a cattle pen there were so many women. At one point - that point being after I handed the financial counselor my credit card and authorized a large charge - I returned to the waiting room and all seats were taken.

I left close to tears, with the sense of being on an assembly line, hyperventilating because I just don't feel right about what seems to be a very cavalier approach to shoving hormones into my body.

So on the one hand, I am like, look, women all over the world have babies well into their 40s, and I'm healthy and I should just relax (hahaha!) and see what happens.

And on the other I am like, maternal age is the most important factor! Time is of the essence! Maybe I should just jump on the goddamn assembly line and hope for the best.

Nick has left a message for the RE. We are going to conference call him and ask for the rationale.

This brings us all to the present moment.

I don't know why it scares me so badly, but it does.


  1. I think you are very wise to consider carefully any prescription and request more information. Everything seems to have side effects and it's important to weigh them against need. You should have solid information and feel good about whatever decision you make.

  2. I obviously have a skewed perspective on this- but at least your doctor is being proactive? Mine was very proactive as well and got me pregnant in less than a year- while I have friends with more conservative doctors who are still trying three years later.

    Not that my experience and theirs have anything to do with each other.

    And that's the other side of the coin here. The internet. And the forums. And your friends stories. None of them belong to you.

    And we could all do the exact same thing and have completely different results.

    Which is my very long winded way of saying- if things are moving too fast in a direction you are not comfortable with- put on the brakes.

    Your situation is yours and nobody else's.

    *Also- Josh too has the super sperm. He likes to tell anybody who shows even remote interest. Makes me feel kind of like- "well no, I couldn't get pregnant even with super sperm, thanks for reminding me".

    As always, best wishes to you.

  3. sweetheart. go hug that delicious boy and keep on keepin' on with the sexy time. just because the ole cervix didn't blossom (or whatever it does, mine went from a 3 to a 7 in ONE HOUR. not exactly flower-like) during labor doesn't mean, i don't think, that it is percluding the super sperm from wriggling through! (given their superiority, i mean, c'mon.)

    hang in there, but please don't do anything rash just because the interwebs makes you think you should. take this sage advice from someone you've never met, whose only criteria for commenting is having a son born 08-13-09...oh, um, ahem...

  4. You know, I was thinking about this. And how it has seemed to me that doctors were being cavalier, when to a certain extent, it's their experience talking. It's possible that your doc has seen situations so very similar to yours that he feels like he knows exactly what you need. Which is something he should have articulated better, if that's the case, and I'm glad you're going in for a more indepth conversation.

    But maybe it's not cavalier-ness, so much as he's confident that he knows what the best options are, and isn't such a great communicator?

    I hope that's it.

  5. Ugh.
    I think there's something about REs that makes them push the drugs quickly. It's like the only language they speak. After five miscarriages, five or six failed rounds of Clomid and one surprise baby, I went to an RE who recommended hyper-stimulating drugs that I feared would lead to some sort of Octomom situation so I kindly said 'Hell no."
    I went to an acupuncturist instead and a few months later was pregnant with twins.
    Like the above poster said, no approach works for everyone and everyone has a host of issues that make their case different than the other. So, my only advice: do as much research as you can to feel comfortable that you're making an informed decision, then make that decision regardless of what anyone else says.
    Also, if the forums are stressing you out rather than making you feel informed or supported, stop reading them.
    (Easier said than done, right?)

  6. I wish there were something I could say to take away the stress and contribute to a resolution for you. The other comments have a lot more insight than I can provide. Follow your instinct, whether that is research or forums or a conversation with the doctor. Good things will happen, I just know they will for you.

    I've said this a million times but I love LG drawings! They make my day! I always read the file name first and was very curious how bacon would fit in to the story (of course it does!). Sperm with capes - classic image only found on LG.

  7. Ok if you have a Stellar uterus etc and Nick has Supersperm I fear your next child will be an intergalatic superhero who is allergic to kyptonite and will want monster trucks to play with on his first birthday and you will have to give him flying lessons on his 2nd and a silver surfboard on his 3rd. All this however will need to be done adorned in a suitable superhero ensemble of which Aunty Go-Betty in the antipodes will set to designing immediately. :-)
    OMGosh I might need to produce multiple superhero outfits for the league of extrodinary super babies :-)

    Go with your gut feelings on this one.

  8. Have you read the book Taking Charge of your Fertility? If not, I highly recommend it! It has taught me SO much about my body.

  9. i've heard many many people get the Clomid recommendation, even people younger than you and me... it's like the Ridalin (sp?) of the fertility world. highly overprescribed if you ask me (and some professionals too). but in some cases it's the only thing that makes sense and probably the least of the prescribed options.
    i hope you get the answers you guys need and only have to take what is necessary... wishing you the utmost in fertility!!
    (and i have a new game where i try to guess what's going on in your drawing before reading the post and at one point in reading this one i gave an outloud "YAY! i knew it!" ... because my first guess was "bacon & sperm")

  10. I think you should try not getting pregnant. It works for so many. Seriously though, I agree with the Maidens post above.Just like reading birthing stories before you actually give birth. No way to really compare.I wonder if we all start imagining you in the family way if we could wish it so. And I think you should get your mind on something relaxing, like art or your beautiful scarves. Not as a replacement but as a release. Draw a picture of you as you wish to be. We'll all be here should it go one way or the other. Because weird as it may seem we are all on this great planet Gloria with you and want what you want.I'm going to imagine you now with morning sickness and stretchy pants. Nice of me huh? But the car goes where the eye looks.

  11. I'm sorry, but I couldn't stop laughing after the "maybe they're stuck in bacon grease" line. Heee!

    On topic, I know a number of couples who had trouble getting pregnant, and most of them got pregnant at the point when they relaxed and stopped worrying about it (i.e., when they had given up and decided it wasn't going to happen for them). I don't mean that you should give up, but I do think that you should stay off the internet forums and try to just live your life. I know it's not easy. Good luck to both of you. xoxo

  12. Maiden Metallurgist: Oy. None of my business, but maybe he could hold off rubbing it in for now. Jeez.

    Go-Betty: hahahaha ohhhh. That was funny :-)

    Lisa: Big hugs! If you haven't been to Julie Robichaux's IF blog, well she is brilliant and extra funny and has been through it all. alittlepregnant.com
    Also, more hugs.

  13. As someone who is currently have a mental fucking breakdown because of pregnancy hormones, I understand your hesitancy to blindly ingest more hormones. If someone asked me to take hormones right now I would shoot them in the face.
    I think that it's really difficult to stay away from the internet, especially when everything feels like it's beyond your control, but I do agree with all the previous commenters who say that all the internet stories are not YOUR story.
    Big hugs, hunny bunny.

  14. It does seem a pretty cavalier distribution of hormones. I'm sometimes surprised what the doctors will prescribe willy nilly. I once got a prescription for a topical treatment for dermatitis and when I read the teeny, tiny print it pretty much told me if I used it while pregnant my baby would have three heads. Doc might've mentioned this to a woman of childbearing age, one thinks.

    I'm sorry that this is so hard for you, mainly because I can totally relate to your thought process. Many blessings to you.

  15. Oy. Clomid. Oy, oy oy. Not only does it increase your chance of Getting Pregnant, it also increases the chance of Feeling Majorly Emotional and Having Twins! Or at least that's how it's worked for two of my cousins. I completely understand your hesitation.

    I like Lynn's idea. The trying not to get pregnant thing.

    The next time you read those forums (I'm going to smack your hand with a rule like a nun, little lady) breathe deeply and say "Olive Vick, Olive Vick" (my great-gram who had all those kids in her 40s).

  16. monique esselmont2/08/2011 8:12 PM

    Hugs... I know it's hard, but you will know what to do when the time is right for you... xoxox

  17. I assume you have had your FSH levels taken? This would be the main issue for age (or, as they so delecately put it in the RE world, "premature ovarian failure")

    That said, mine were on the high side before Erin, and an RE told me I had a five per cent chance of conceiving a child and carrying to term. I plan to send him photos of Erin's 18th...

    Also, I did acupuncture. I don't know if it helped, but it made me feel I had some control.

    The whole out of control thing of fertility and pregancy really didn't work for me :)

    Good luck!

  18. lacochran - Yes, I think that's right. We're talking to the RE tomorrow and want a good explanation of why he thinks this would be the right approach.

    Maiden Metallurgist - Thank you for this reminder. It's so true - everyone has their own history, genetic makeup, etc. I'm reading all these things and taking all this advice from people I know nothing about...and we might have absolutely no circumstances in common except fertility issues. As for the supersperm, it doesn't faze me at all. I didn't think of it that way. That said, I really was half convinced it was stuck in bacon grease...

    Coleen - Oh! My due date! My birthday! Yah. I think we will give this a try, and then keep on keepin on. :)

    Jess - Yah, maybe. Maybe.

    Dana - You were smart to say hell no. I really like my acupuncturist, and she's turned my health around immensely. She's in favor of me trying the IUI at this point, and even Clomid if I'm in favor. But she's providing all kinds of support to mitigate negatives. And I am trying to quit the forums. I am, I am!

    HK - You are always so sunshiney and lovely and you definitely helped with my stress today. Thank you for loving the drawings! Thank you!

    Go-Betty - You make me laugh. You really do. Huge hugs to you.

    Tia - I have not. I've heard very good things about it, though.

    jen - Clomid is apparently more effective on younger people than older. Definitely highly overprescribed, if the forums are to be believed, and I do. As for the bacon and sperm guess, that made me giggle.

    Lynn - Yes, I think you are right. Easier said than done, but you are right. And I appreciate you imagining me all pregnant and unhappy in unattractive pants. :) Hopefully it'll work!

    Wendy - I'm pretty pleased with myself for that one, I've gotta say. I said it in all seriousness and maybe not so happily, but I've come to see the humor. And I know, I do, that I need to just stop with the obsessive reading and live life and just enjoy and focus on other stuff. I do...I just have a hard time doing it.

    Laura - Thank you - I will add it to my reader! She does look like she's gone through it all.

    vvk - Hugs to you, my friend.

    Hillary - Hugs to you, hunny bunny. I know you are struggling. Hormones are the biggest mindfuck.

    Keenie Beanie - I think doctors get so focused in one direction that they don't think beyond it. Which is why you have to totally educate yourself as a consumer. Which then makes you totally sceptical and untrusting...And here we are. Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it.

    Kate Bee - I am going to picture you smacking my hand with a ruler. I'll try to use it as deterrent. And I am totally going to use Olive Vick as my background chant! I love it!

    monique - Huge hugs to you, my friend. Thank you so much for being so supportive.

    Nicole - Yah, I just did, and it was 7.8. It was 11.6 two months ago. I know they think you're only as good as your highest FSH...It's also an argument against Clomid, as I understand it. I am doing acupuncture and herbs, and I love my acupuncturist. I would recommend it to anyone. And the out of control thing makes me batshit. It really does. But I love your story. Take that, 5% chance!

  19. We did IUI with our first kid. (anonymous from the last post with a baby a month younger than J). Good luck to you, whatever you decide. I'm following your posts and stories and thinking of you.

  20. My FSH was around 17, so you're doing much better than me! And yes, Clomid isnt really going to help a high FSH - cos it's still your eggs, no matter how stimulated they are :) (although 11.6 isn't that high. I certainly wouldn't preclude you from any IVF program)

    I do know another person with a high FSH (around 30+), who also did acupuncture and TCM and has a son a few months younger than Erin. I'm just sayin'

  21. so, I'm with Nicole. If you're uncomfortable with the clomid etc route, I'd seriously consider acupunture and TCM. Handing out advice where you don't know me and I don't know you ... but I've been in your place ... exactly.

  22. Anonymous - Thank you. I appreciate it, I really do.

    nicole - Ohhh. That totally makes me feel better. I wonder if they act like it's unreasonably high and you're probably running out of eggs and time just to make you panic.

    Anna - Thank you for this. I am trying the Clomid/IUI route this month in conjunction with acupuncture and TCM. I've decided I'm looking at this month as an experiment, honestly. Not that I'm taking it lightly, but that we will learn something one way or the other.


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